Having only recently finished my undergraduate degree in languages, I remember how important it is to feel at ease in the exams knowing you have had enough practise, but also how tedious it can be going over and over grammar rules and lists of vocabulary. So, while I am more than happy to go over anything that a student has not fully understood in class at whatever pace they are comfortable with, generally I try to make sure that my students get as much opportunity as possible to put what they have learned in the classroom into practise, so that our sessions compliment what they are learning at school.
After talking to the student about what they would like to get out of our sessions, their curriculum, their exams, how they feel about the language and where they feel their strengths and weaknesses lie when I first meet them, my lessons involve a lot of conversation and speaking practise, reading, writing and watching film and TV clips in the target language. I like to set little (informal) tests each lesson to make sure they have fully understood everything as we go along, and will take the time to explain any rules I think they should know/go over again. It is also very important to me that the student feels fully prepared for their exams so I will ask them to tell me what they know about the exam format in our first session and begin directly preparing them for this from the beginning, as in my experience the earlier you start preparing, the better. My approach to students who are beginners or are not following any curriculum involves a lot more explanation of grammar rules, basic vocabulary, etc. but my focus is still on practising using the languages in a quasi real-life setting as soon as possible.
I think this is a great way to improve confidence fast and when it comes to learning languages, confidence is essential. It is also very important to me that the student enjoys our sessions and the learning process in general so I put a lot of effort into tailoring the lessons to their interests, abilities and preferred style of learning. I am a very warm, understanding person so I am also more than happy to help students learn how to cope with the stress of exams, homework, and life at school or college in general as well as improving their language skills. The aim is to make them feel happy and confident in themselves and what they are doing, as well as proficient in the target language.
I have experience working as a private tutor in Milan, Italy, teaching English as a foreign language to native Italian speakers; I taught adults and teenagers for a variety of levels and purposes, including preparing for school exams, beginner's conversational English and English for business.
I have a 2:1 BA in French and Italian from UCL, three A Levels and two AS Levels (three As, two Bs) including an A Level in French and an AS Level in English Language, as well as twelve GCSEs (six A*s, five As, one B)
I enjoy writing in my spare time and I'm currently working on a graphic novel-thriller!